Assisted Living Care versus Nursing Home Care


Assisted Living Care Vs. Nursing Home Care

What kind of care do I need?

Arizona assisted living, provides housing for those who cannot live alone, and who do not need the higher level of skilled medical care given in nursing homes. These facilities provide assistance with activities of daily living “ADL’s”, (assistance with bathing, eating, medication assistance and dressing) to services that used to only be provided in skilled nursing facilities such as the use of assistive devices such as Hoyer lifts, feeding tubes and wound care.   This is not to say that all Assisted living communities provide these services but some do.

This higher level of care can be found in many Group homes which are also licensed assisted living homes. These homes generally provide a higher level of supervision and care, because of their size and ability to provide closer supervision and manage these services with the assistance of outside services like home health services for wound care management and outpatient P.T., O.T., Speech therapy.

Seniors still enjoy a good degree of independence especially in assisted living communities -- many live in private apartments or studios -- with options for socializing with other residents and 24-hour help nearby. Larger assisted living community’s general offer more options for socialization with larger scale recreational activities and entertainment that comes to the community as well as restaurant style dining. Group homes provide a more homelike atmosphere with home cooked meals and small scale recreational activities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines assisted living facilities as facilities that provide help with bathing, dressing, and medication.

Some assisted living communities also provide Memory Care for those with advanced stages of dementia in a special wing (dedicated Memory Care Unit), or are a stand-alone Memory Care communities. Not all facilities offer this option and not all residents with Memory care needs require a special unit or community for their care.  Many residents especially in the earlier stages of their disease progression can be safely managed in a more open assisted living setting. 

It's important to note that assisted living facilities are private pay establishments, which are not covered by programs such as Medicare or third party insurances, though they may be covered by some long-term care insurance policies and ALTC’s (Arizona’s Medicaid program requiring Long term care who meet medical and financial eligibility).  Assisted Living costs range from $2000-$6,000 for most assisted living residences but can run $5,000-$8000 for memory care in Arizona.  Most Assisted Living communities charge a base rent plus levels of care and medication administration fees,  whereas Group homes are generally charge a flat fee which includes care except for incontinence supplies.

Nursing Homes


Nursing homes, also called "skilled nursing facilities," are licensed facilities for those who require long-term care or short-term rehabilitation services. They are for those individuals who require a higher level of “24 hr. a day Skilled Care” not provided by assisted living. A nursing home is a place for people who don't need to be in a hospital but can't be cared for at home or in a assisted living community or group home because of their need for 24 hour skilled care. Most nursing homes have nursing aides and skilled nurses on hand 24 hours a day.

Some nursing homes are set up like a hospital. The staff provides medical care, as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy if it falls under Medicare guidelines for coverage. There is usually a nurses' station on each floor and residents may share rooms, meals are served in a central dining hall (unless a resident is too ill to leave the room). This type of care is covered by both Medicare and Medicaid, though private payment options are also available and allow for more choices, such as private rooms.  Private rates are usually based upon the current Medicare rates for the rooms currently running around $220-280 a day for semi private and private rooms plus ancillary charges.

Some nursing homes have special care units for people with serious memory problems such as Alzheimer's disease. Some will let couples live together, Nursing homes are not only for the elderly, but for anyone who requires 24-hour care.

A common concern of some skilled nursing facilities is that some seniors find them depressing because many of the residents have numerous medical problems, and that these facilities do not provide the best care due to higher staff turnover, inadequate staffing patterns, requiring extra attention and monitoring from family members.

Help to determine the best setting can be obtained from an experienced healthcare professional such as your family physician or other medical providers as well as the licensed healthcare professionals at A Caring Hand for Mom who with their extensive experience can guide you.  We look at factors such as care needs, wandering potential, safety in an apartment setting, group home or Memory care unit, and overall functioning capability.  We can help you find the best options available for your loved one and will always give you honest unbiased answers. Call us today at 800-881-7706 and visit our website at

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Friday, 23 February 2018
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